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Castlegar turns down donation for Syria, Turkey

Castlegar city council has opted not to donate $4,000 to earthquake relief efforts in Syria and Turkey.

Councillor Shirley Falstead suggested the donation to the Canadian Red Cross and staff suggested a few different places in the city budget where the money could come from.

“I think in my heart that we cannot not put money toward that catastrophe,” she said.

However, the rest of council felt differently.

“I do feel for the intention, but with so many cuts to our budget, I think it’s best to keep our money in our area,” said councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff. “I would encourage individuals if they would like to support it, to donate directly to the Red Cross.”

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Mayor Maria McFaddin says she was concerned that it has become “tricky” to get funding to the two countries.

“I know they’ve been struggling trying to figure that out, with at least one of the two being pretty closed and so they won’t actually allow funding to come in to help and the other one they’re struggling where it needs to be,” she said.

Councillor Brian Bogle said at best he felt a donation from the city would be “simply symbolic” and didn’t fit council’s mandate.

The magnitude-7.8 earthquake on Feb. 6 killed at least 52,000 people and has left an estimated 1.5 million homeless.

Castlegar council did provide $1,000 last year for Ukrainian relief efforts.

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